c.1934 Babe Ruth Tour of Japan "Batting Image" - PSA Type 1 Encapsulated ACME Newspictures Photo - Measures Approx. 7" x 9"
The most popular and sought-after "Tour of Japan" Babe Ruth photo, this magnificent PSA Type 1 image portrays the immortal "Sultan of Swat" completing his mighty swing as he watches another mammoth blast sail towards the Japanese grandstands. Indeed, the historical significance of this classic Ruth batting pose literally transcends time to some 87 years ago when the flamboyant "Babe" headed overseas with his star-studded teammates to match up against Japan's finest players. One of the most celebrated global baseball events ever, the highly esteemed 1934 "Tour of Japan" was originally jump started when legendary manager Connie Mack was asked to piece together an 18-player All-Star team to challenge Japan's finest players/teams in 18 contests.
Not the first overseas trip to Japan, professional baseball squads had previously experienced similar tours in 1908, 1913, 1920, 1922 and 1931. However, in those five prior tours, our American all-stars were matched up against Japanese amateur or college teams, resulting in lopsided contests. Japan had high hopes for the 1934 Tour for they would now match up their premier professional players from a nucleus of Japanese teams dubbed the "Big Six" against the American All-Stars. Of course, Connie Mack's first player choice was George Herman "Babe" Ruth who, via his prior world tour and unparalleled reputation, was now a "global fixture". Additional Hall of Fame icons would include Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Charlie Gehringer and Lefty Gomez, with the ultra-popular and eventual WWII spy Moe Berg also on America's roster.
Upon arrival to Japan, an amazing 500,000+ Japanese faithful came out to greet the American players with the immortal Ruth obviously receiving maximum accolades and sufficing as the most formidable crowd-pleaser. Seemingly delirious fans would relentlessly cry out "Beibu Rusu.Beibu Rusu", with the Bambino waving both the American and Japanese flags for the captivated crowd. The games would be played in various stadiums, some of which included Meiji-Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, Koshien Stadium in Kobe, and Yagiyama Baseball Field in Sendai. While Japan was now utilizing professional players, eleven of which would eventually be inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame, much to the delight of the American people the results remained the same. The Americans once again bested Japan in all 18 games, with Ruth clouting an incredible 13 home runs and solidifying his place among avid Japanese followers as a bona fide baseball god.
Measuring 8" x 10", Ruth is donning his classic "Tour of Japan" U.S. uniform, as the 39-year-old legend gazes towards the furthest confines of the ballpark to admire another one of his batting practice dingers disappear into the sunset. You can literally feel the intensity in the Bambino's stoic facial expression, catcher, photographer and enthralled spectators likewise looking on, with the superb aesthetics ably assisted by the near perfect contrast and resolution. While the central image has remained relatively unscathed and the critical ACME Newspictures credit stamp is affixed to the verso, notable flaws do include several diagonal creases in the upper left/lower right quadrants as well as a heavy horizontal crease/possible slight tear about halfway up the right border. Yet, it is the mesmerizing Ruth swinging pose that stands front and center, with this iconic illustration truly residing as one of "The Babe's" most iconic images extant!
MIN BID $800